So the Green Bay Packers didn’t sign Steven Jackson. Big deal. Coach Mike McCarthy already knows who his running back will be in 2013 — DuJuan Harris… and probably someone else.
McCarthy expressed a commitment to the 5-7 Harris during the NFL owners meetings on Wednesday, saying Harris would be one half of his one-two rushing punch. McCarthy stopped short of saying Harris would be the starter though.
“Oh he’s going to play for us next season. That’s his responsibility if he wants to be the starter,” McCarthy said.
Harris rushed 34 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season and added 100 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries in two postseason games. More importantly, the former practice squad signee was the only member of the Packers backfield that looked at all impressive after Cedric Benson was lost for the season.
McCarthy also said the Packers will try to establish some consistency by using only a couple guys in the running game in 2013. In 2012, they used five guys, or six if you count fullback John Kuhn.
The second guy in 2013? McCarthy made no commitment to anyone, which doesn’t really bode well for James Starks and Alex Green, the two other holdovers from 2012 (Benson and Ryan Grant are free agents).
The Packers obviously weren’t happy with either of those guys in 2012. Both of them started games and both of them got benched. They were also afterthoughts once Harris entered the picture.
Green Bay is reportedly interested in free agent Ahmad Bradshaw and they may very well draft a running back.
In 2013, the Packers running game will probably look a lot different than it did a year ago. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.